Will mobile operators keep pace with this development of chipsets? The Samsung Galaxy S8 was the first commercially available smartphone with LTE Advanced category 16 modem, which, thanks to MIMO 4×4 and Carrier Aggregation, was able to download mobile data with 1 Gbps speed. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 will be even faster, with data rates up to 1.2 Gbps. This will be the LTE category 18 device.
How is this possible? The data transfer speed of mobile devices depends not only on the capacity of the operator’s mobile network, but also on the so-called modem category. In short, it defines which data transmission modes are supported by the device so that the LTE base station can take full advantage of the smartphone’s capabilities. LTE, and more specifically LTE Advanced, is growing year by year, and operators regularly implement new solutions. Of course, it would not have been possible if we had owned old smartphones. Therefore, remember that the advantage of new smartphone is not only a bigger screen or better camera, it is also faster LTE Internet.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 will have an X20 LTE modem.
What is so extraordinary about this? More than a year ago, the flagship mobiles with the Snapdragon 820 chipset was released on the market. One of them was e.g. the LG G5. These devices had the Qualcomm X12 LTE modem, which is a category 13. It was the first chip to support the new 256 QAM modulation, which increased download speeds by 33%. Additional support for 3-band carrier aggregation provided the ability of simultaneously aggregation of 6 data streams at 100 Mbps each. As you can easily calculate, the total download speed could reach as much as 600 Mbps.
Currently, smartphones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S8) have LTE category 16 modems. For example, the Qualcomm X16 LTE is based on the Snapdragon 835 chipset with support of the 4-band carrier aggregation and MIMO 4×4. However, the system limits the number of data streams to 10, which translates to 1 Gbps maximum speed. The Snapdragon 845 will be equipped with an X20 LTE modem, which will handle up to 12 streams, i.e. up to 1.2 Gbps. Perhaps the first smartphone with this chip will be next year’s Samsung Galaxy S9.